Boogie Nights (12/30/12)

Boogie NightsMovie Three Hundred!!!

In Boogie Nights,  young man equipped with a special gift makes it big in the porn industry.

*sorry I couldn’t resist the pun*

In 1977 in an LA night club, young Eddie Adams (Mark Wahlberg) is discovered by star adult film director, Jack Horner (Burt Reynolds) and due to his tremendous talent, begins a new life in the porn world as “Dirk Diggler”. Dirk quickly becomes friends with fellow adult film actor Reed Rothchild (John C. Reilly) and together, they create a very successful series of adult films about two secret agents named Brock Landers and Chest Rockwell. When Dirk gets started on drugs things begin to falter in his porn career and things get rough for Horner when his main financier goes to jail for child pornography charges. As times change, the rise and fall of the industry and the individuals involved are all laid out.

Boogie Nights fulfilled my goal of watching 300 movies in 2012!  I wanted movie #300 to be something special, something I maybe hadn’t seen in awhile and/or also tied into New Year’s Eve. Boogie Nights fit the bill on both counts. Paul Thomas Anderson has crafted some wonderful movies but Boogie Nights may very well be my favorite film of his. It literally has everything: sex, drama, laughs, incredible long shots, great characters, bell bottoms, etc.

The main thing that grabs me about Boogie Nights is the frequent and numerous long shots. Boogie Nights has more than a few and as the film progresses and the tone shifts, the cuts get quicker and then finally start getting longer again. I didn’t notice this when I watched the film several years ago, but this time around I almost wanted to time each shot to see what exactly is happening with the camera. The scenes aren’t just long, though, they are amazingly crafted and shot. Even if the action on screen was dull, which it usually is not, the way Boogie Nights is shot would still be impressive.

Due to the somewhat touchy subject matter at hand, Boogie Nights skirts much of what could make the film completely gratuitous. There are definitely some exceptions, including the final scene, but for the most part, PT Anderson is almost making a spoof of the industry for the audience. The cast in Boogie Nights is so varied and everyone has their story and everyone has their place in the film. The movie is not about the porn industry itself, but the characters.

Boogie Nights is not just a technically well-crafted film, it is a film that truly has purpose and heart.

I give it 5 Brock Landers and Chest Rockwells out of 5.


Rotten Tomatoes


43 responses to “Boogie Nights (12/30/12)

  1. I wish I could enter into intelligent conversation with you about your 300th film, but I haven’t seen it, so I can’t. I enjoyed the review though and I’ll just say a massive well done for reaching your target! Good work man 🙂

  2. This film is damn near perfectly executed and is infinitely rewatchable and massively quotable, and I hate all of PTA’s other films.

    Congratulations on 300!

  3. I have to look for it, but I read a great essay explaining why this is PT Anderson’s best film. The main point being there is true character development that occurs to the main character that hasn’t happened in later films.

    If I find it, then I’ll post it to you.

  4. I’ve got a lot of sentimentality about this film. I remember watching it when I was quite a bit younger… just to see Heather Graham in her roller skates. Just her roller skates. The story was entirely secondary back then.

  5. Good review Andy. Fun, hilarious, fast-paced, and overall just a great piece of cinema. I never knew what their intentions were with this one, but whatever they were, they did a good job with it.

  6. Purpose, heart, and something else; it’s a great American tragedy and you pity him by the parking lot violence toward the end. Probably Marky Mark’s best film only b/c PTA was in the director’s chair

  7. The two performances that really stood out for me in this film is Burt Reynolds and Heather Graham as the Roller Girl. Also, Paul Thomas Anderson is the son of Ernie Anderson who was the ‘wacko’ announcer on the old Carol Burnett Show from the 70’s.

  8. Pingback: My December Movies Round-Up | Andy Watches Movies

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